Carole Kaye began collecting miniatures over 20 years ago after constructing a doll house with one of their grandchildren. Carole's interest grew rapidly, and she was soon commissioning well known miniaturists and artists with her life insurance expert husband Barry Kaye's approval. In the early years, the Carole and Barry Kaye Museum of Miniatures was on display in the back of Barry Kaye's insurance office in Los Angeles. It soon needed more space.
Barry Kaye Relocates the Museum
In order to give Carole Kaye plenty of room for expansion, the Carole and Barry Kaye Museum of Miniatures was moved to a 14,000 square foot location on the LA Museum corridor near the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Peterson Automotive Museum and other prestigious galleries. Over the next ten years, Carole and Barry Kaye amassed a collection valued at over $25 million, including works by George Stuart, a well known wax miniature artist.
Over 100,000 visitors a year admired the collection, which included miniatures of remarkable landscapes from around the world, including the Vatican. Iconic miniatures such as 1950s diners were also part of the museum. A gift shop and doll gallery offered exquisite miniatures and dolls to collectors. Many works in the museum were commissioned especially by Carole Kaye, who wanted to give visitors a glimpse of art and architecture from around the globe.
The Carole And Barry Kaye Museum of Miniatures Closes Its Doors
In 1999, both Carole and Barry Kaye moved to Florida. Although they wanted to keep the collection intact, they were unable to find an appropriate buyer in the Los Angeles area. In order to preserve the integrity of the collection, they chose to donate it to the The Naples Musuem of Art and Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Florida, where parts of the collection are now on display as part of the museum's permanent collection.